It may be costing taxpayers €50,000 a day and more than twice as much as it should be, but the Maltese police have decided not to investigate the illegal direct order awarded by the State-owned St Vincent De Paul elderly home to James Caterers and a subsidiary of DB Group.
The police told Lovin Malta that they requested a meeting with the National Audit Office following its lengthy report publication last week. The meeting was held and “it resulted that at this stage a police investigation is not necessary”.
Lovin Malta also asked the NAO’s office whether it was satisfied with the government’s reply to its report, which was simply to pledge never to repeat such mistakes.
The NAO said it had fulfilled the request of the Public Accounts Committee made almost three years ago on 28th August 2018.
“The report is now in the public domain and therefore available for all to refer to should necessary action be warranted. Notwithstanding this, as is customary, this Office has submitted a copy of this report to the Police and will collaborate with authorities should the need arise,” the NAO told Lovin Malta.
“This Office does not have anything more to add other than that contained in the report. It is for the authorities to take any action it deems appropriate,” it added.
But in the absence of a police investigation or a commitment from government to rescind the deal, taxpayers have remained in the same position they were in before the NAO’s three-year investigation.
Malta is paying €274 million over 15 years for the building and servicing of 500 beds for the elderly, in a deal the NAO found that could not have been the best deal for the taxpayer since other companies were not able to bid for it fairly.
Do you think there should be a police investigation?